10 Questions with ... Marc Summers
October 13, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Interned at WBJW in Orlando, went on to program WXMK in Brunswick, GA, WZYP in Huntsville, KZHT in SLC, and KZZP in Phoenix. After a short (legally enforced) time out, I returned to radio at Magic Broadcasting's WILN and WVVE.
1) Tell us about your "Split Or Steal" promotion.
It's a wicked little game we are playing. We start with a pile of money, then get two listeners to convince each other why they should both SPLIT the money and each take half. After a short conversation, we speak to each privately on the air, getting their decision. They can split the money, or try and STEAL it all. If they both STEAL, no one wins any money at all. If just one steals and another splits, the stealer gets it all. What's been the highlight of the game is the stories people make up to get the other person to agree to split, then when they make their choice in private, they admit it's all a lie and try and steal the money. This contest does what no other game on the radio has ever done; turned what is usually fun for the 5% (or less who play) into an edge-of-your-seat showcase of human greed and dishonesty. It's wickedly fun just to listen as they try to lie, cheat ... and STEAL their way to riches.
2) How has the response been?
Phenomenal. It's been the topic of conversation everywhere I go. People are just amazed at the depth people will go to try and take all the money. One guy even pleaded for a woman to split because his dog was hit by a car and needed surgery. Of course she said SPLIT, and when it was time for him to choose, he STOLE it all out from under her, then admitted it was all a ruse to get her to try and split.
3) How did you come up with this idea?
I spend my time trolling Soundcloud for ideas. I have found that Australian radio is light years better than the best radio we have here in the U.S. They do HUGE contests with GIGANTIC personalities. They take risks and they make radio that is more than just PPM-friendly music machines. I urge anyone wanting to take their stations to the creative limit to spend some time listening to the big Top 40s in Sydney and Melbourne. You will be amazed at what they do ... Groundbreaking stuff that corporate radio is too afraid to try here in the states.
4) Do you have the audio of the promos?
Of course. In addition to PD, I am Creative Services Director and I do the imaging for Island 106. You can check out the files here:
- The Teases - https://soundcloud.com/marc-summers-3/panama-citys-social-experiment-is-coming
- Explainer Promos - https://soundcloud.com/marc-summers-3/island-106s-split-or-steal-a & https://soundcloud.com/marc-summers-3/island-106s-split-or-steal-b
- Winner Promos - https://soundcloud.com/marc-summers-3/island-106-split-or-steal-stealing-is-cool & https://soundcloud.com/marc-summers-3/island-106s-split-or-steal-i-have-bills-promo
- On-Air Execution - https://soundcloud.com/marc-summers-3/island-106-split-or-steal-debbie-steals
5) How does this tie in with your social media efforts?
We have our ISLAND INSIDER Listener Club, and we let listeners play the game for points. We post the lies and stories listeners tell to try and manipulate the other contestants.
6) You lost a heritage morning show to the Tampa market. Tell us about your new show.
We found a guy who was the producer for a syndicated show out of Austin who was eager to sharpen his chops as the leader of his own show. Chubbs teamed up with Mandy (The Best of Bay Winner for Personality of the Year, and the third time we have won the award for our on-air talent), and Producer Jimmy who worked with Miguel. The response has been beyond my highest expectations. I suspect we will surpass the incredible numbers we had with The Miguel Show, and that's no small accomplishment
7) Run down the rest of your air staff after morning drive. What does each bring to the table?
We start the day with Chubbs & Mandy in the Morning, along with Producer Jimmy. Middays are hosted by Mandy, with Tyler (Panama City's Bad Boy, and often suspended dick), and we VT nights with Ant Dizzle from Greensboro. It's a powerful lineup of content-focused personalities who are allowed to be themselves on the air, not read a liner card once every quarter-hour.
8) Tell us about your imaging ... who's your station voice? What jingles and other audio are you using?
As I said earlier, I do all the imaging on Island. Dave Foxx, my mentor (professional man-crush. I love his work) is the VO talent, along with Donna Paulson, who can make our positioning statement sound like a dirty sex act. She's amazing. Our jingles are a mix of ReelWorld KTU and IMGR's package. Speaking of IMGR, I found this service on Soundcloud, and it's a unique production package that includes VO talent, imaging pieces, and jingles. The inclusion of imaging, VO and jingles in one website allows for some really creative blends of all three. Anyone looking to augment their imaging should check them out at IMGR.com.
9) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
What makes Island unique is the no-rule, no corporate control, take-no-prisoners philosophy. We do radio in the old Jacor style ... win at all costs. Create unique, hard to duplicate, engaging content and talent. Add locally researched music, tight rotations, groundbreaking and fun contests, and generous helpings of public service events that we create from the ground up, and you get a radio station that scores a 10 on the IMPACT scale. We reject wallpaper radio ... when we do things, people react. We had a client take out running promotions and spots in Ft. Walton at the Top 40 and on our station, and they said that they never get a single response from their ads in that market. When we talk about them, the phone rings. It's the difference of being a bland background music machine, and being a BIGGER THAN LIFE personality machine. Seeing Island 106 is #1 in every demo that counts (and that's against a fully funded, live and local Top 40 competitor), and my Rhythmic Oldies station that I launched last spring, GROOVE 100.1, just had its best book yet, #2 18-49 woman. I'd say whatever we are doing is working ... quite well. People are always surprised at how competitive and well programmed the radio is in this market.
10) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I love BJ Harris at Alice in Denver. He still does big morning radio and has fun doing it. You don't have to give into the PPM rules that are killing our business. Sometimes you have to lose a meter or two to be a market dominating personality, and BJ still does that. And his social media skills are off the charts.
What was your last non-industry job?
Commissary Clerk for the prison commissary store.